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Hi my father finally went to the doctor for his skin ulcer on his leg and the cancer doctor. They think he has leukemia. His home care help is not showing up. His landlord had asked him to move out last May. Now landlord told my dad he will start on basement even with him there. He is remodeling it. My dad wants a place like he has now, but can't afford a house in this market and most don't even have a bathroom that works with his wheelchair. I'm 2 hours away trying to work and care for my family. I've tried to help, but my dad doesn't like my ideas. Like a wheelchair apartment, health care agency, those kind of things. He wants to keep everything and there is no where to put it. He feels overwhelmed and wants a second opinion on cancer. What am I supposed to do? I want to be there for him but I can't quit my job. I've asked him to move closer to me but he won't becuse he will lose benefits. He doesn't like health care agencies. I'm just tired and cry out of frustration. I love my dad.

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Landlord hasn't evicted him yet, but he is going to start remodeling basement. So have to try and find a place for things. I have tried to take Bull by horns and I get "your like your mom and you can get out". I am told by dads case worker your father is mentally capable nothing you can do it her also untill he is not. So I get to hear from my dad he is in poop and peed pants  bc his health care help didn't show up bc colorado lets you hire your own people instead of agency. What the hell do you do with that info? I have a demanding job. So I care for my family at end of day and am the only one so I get to hear this and do nothing. I have pleaded begged cried talked till my blue. But am told I don't know it understand. I'm freaking tired and just have to listen and try to find the energy to drive tomorrow to clean him and get back to go to work. I'm just tired want to run away. But of course wont I will get it done. Just what you do. But I know I will never do this to another living soul.
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Has the landlord evicted him. If not, maybe he should. I agree, you may just have to say "This is how it has to be".
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This might not help you - but the time for asking your Dad is long over - take the bull by the horns and tell him what to do.

I did it with my father and there were a few tears when I told him he had to leave his home. I had found him sitting in a dark room, staring at the TV (which was off) and when I asked him what he ate that day - "nothing. I couldn't decide so I didn't bother" was his reply. I said, Pop, it's time. I told him to give me 3 months to get his health back and he could return to his home. Less than 24 hours in his new home, he never wanted to go back.

I think they become afraid of change. My dad lived another 5 years and was so happy in his new home right next door to me. (we put a mobile home in our front yard) It was a lot easier assisting him and I was able to see if a strange car pulled up to his home. No more worries for me or him.

Tell your father, it's time to move. Tell him you'll help him find a suitable place. Then follow through. Tough love is for parents too.
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So true Countrymouse. There's a limit as to how much you can help people. If they won't allow the help, what can you do?

Smithbeth, do you think your dad is competent? It sounds like he has very poor judgment and that he may not be able to manage his own household. Plus, he dislikes healthcare agencies....sounds like his judgment is quite poor. Still, if he's competent, it's up to him to make his choices and if he wants to live in a way that is harmful, it's his decision. Sometimes seniors have magical thinking. They believe that all kinds of things are possible, when they are ridiculous, impractical and against their best interest.

I might consult with an attorney in his jurisdiction, so you know what your options are. They can explain what the courts would look for if the time comes where he's just not able to make proper decisions. And, then try to let him figure things out for himself, with the help of his case worker, if he's competent. Managing someone who is resistant can be a nightmare. Have you thought about letting a caseworker with social services do it? I'd explore that option. If the case worker is monitoring him, she should step in, if he needs help. Maybe, this could take the stress off of you.

Stressing and worrying about this is likely to only harm you. I'd try to focus on what you can do and find peace with that. Eventually, someone will be making the choices for him, as if when he becomes too ill, incapacitated, etc. I'd inquire from the attorney as to what the options are then.
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Yes I agree. I've taken caregiving classes, was in therapy for awhile to learn we all have choices. My life is not just to please and do my parents wants. My dad has always been the way he is. I've had talks with him doesn't work. I am trying very hard not to become absorbed. Do what I can when I can. Thank you very much it really helps.
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I respect people's right to please themselves, too. I make it a point of principle.

So now we've got that clear...

Your father sounds like a nightmare tenant, a nightmare social services client, and a nightmare Dad. He wants to please himself and has not the slightest thought for the impact his choices have on others.

He wants a property he can afford, where he can store his useless junk indefinitely, smoke where he likes, come and go as he pleases, and take help from you with both hands while conceding nothing to anyone.

Tough! He's had all his life to manoeuvre himself into that position, and if he hasn't succeeded well that is just too dam' bad.

You can love someone and still profoundly disapprove of their behaviour, you know. Hasn't the time come to stop enabling it? Wouldn't that be quite a relief for your DH, too?
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Thank you for your thoughts and words of encouragement. I really appreciate it. I've talked with the landlord he doesn't care any longer, he sold his house in town and him and his wife are living in a 5th wheel on the property waiting for my dad to move. I've found wheelchair apartments 1 year ago. But dad doesn't want to put in application. They have a year waiting list. My dad hates apartments and in town living. He has been looking but what he wants is not out there. I've tried helping him sale the things he buys from online auctions. He hopes to resale for big money. He doesn't understand it has to be super nice and even then the market is flooded. I've collected moving boxes. I've talked to his case worker no housing help except assisted living. Dad wants no part of someone else telling him what to do. He likes to smoke inside also. His idea is to buy a motor home and travel in it. Wish I could do that for him. But again who will go with you for your care? One of the issues is he has a old construction trailer that he won't part with. He traded for it bc it was a storage shed on wheels. He loves to buy and barter. I get that and respect him. But I'm the one who has to move it or fix it. I've told him I just can't. I fix him food for the freezer, go shopping those kinds of things in the time I have. He tells me its a shame you ran off and got married. Mind you I was 35. I helped raise my youngest brother, then helped my dad hands on did quit my job used savings. I had to go back to work in the day because he didn't follow thru with the plan we discussed. 5 years I went to work and me at night go cook and put him to bed. I did meet someone and got married. In so thankful for my husband. He comes and helps me at dads too. I guess I know my hands are tied and it wears me out because its all such a cluster. He know I love him. I do what I can.
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Smilebeth, you poor love. This is very worrying for you, and very sad.

Your giving up your job don't come into it. It isn't even a question. That's good.

So... that leaves you with what leisure time? Can you get a whole weekend free? Let DH take charge?

The thing is, what I guess from your post is, that you are getting all your information from your father. And while that's going on, you don't have a chance of sifting any practical solutions from the sea of troubles he tells you about.

If you can get over there and have a slow, patient conversation with him over several hours, you can get hold of things like: authorisation to speak to his medics yourself; his landlord's contact details; his key contacts at the benefits agency/ies.

I mean, for example: they "think" he has leukaemia? So... what, there are more tests to be done? The results were ambiguous? The results were not remotely ambiguous but the communication with your father was lousy? You need better quality information on this: diagnosis, prognosis, care plan.

Similarly with the home care problems and the rehoming problems. If the landlord has already allowed your father more than nine months, then the landlord is not a heartless monster: talk to him. See what he knows about local housing options. See what you can find out from other key contacts. Speak to the home care provider yourself and find out whether they're not turning up, or they're not getting in, for example.

Nobody wants to see your father bag and baggage on the street. But change is happening. He doesn't, either, have the option of sitting there like a rock in a pond and not moving. The trouble is, he's too old, ill and probably depressed to handle what needs to be done.

DO NOT jeopardise your job. But on the other hand, if you can, I would take a whole day off for making phone calls. If you can allot specific time to Dad-related tasks you might find they're less apt to take over your head 24/7.
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smilebeth -

First of all, DO NOT QUIT YOUR JOB.
Second, take care of YOUR family first, including yourself.
Third, realize and accept that your dad makes his own decisions regardless whether you like them or not, AND let HIM be the recipient of the consequences of his own decisions.

In time, if he doesn't like the consequences too much, he'll be more receptive to your recommendations, like moving to a handicap accessible apartment and accept agency help.

As for his stuff that he can't let go, perhaps he will agree to store them in a storage facility. After a while he won't even miss them, then you can give or throw those away without him knowing.
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I'm so sorry, Smilebeth. I'm sure he knows you love him and want to help. But of course you don't have a magic wand to make everything OK, especially when he isn't being realistic about things. What a tough situation!

Maybe a second opinion regarding his cancer would help him come to terms with it, and accept that he needs more care than he has now?
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He is on Medicaid so might be tough. I'm ok with a second opinion. Its the no help that makes its hard. I will take time off of work. So if he does get treatments who will help? My brothers can't help. One in prison. Other states away and too many issues. I'm praying and trying to remember to do what I can. It just is hard to see it be such a cluster. I'm a planner and my hands are tied.
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Oh wow. That is very, very frustrating. You love your dad, but what can you do?

For starters, just one small piece of the picture, is there any reason he can't get a second opinion? For something as serious as leukemia a second opinion seems reasonable.
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